When I first heard about 365 Day Subway: Poems by New Yorkers, a project started by friend, neighbor, and prolific author Madeline Schwartzman it was like one of those instant, “d’oh! Why didn’t I think of that!” moments. Well there’s a good reason why–because she’s way cooler than I am. And evidently fearless when it comes to approaching random New Yorkers on the subway and asking them to write a poem for her on the spot.
Yes, you read that correctly.
She’s just launched a website featuring beautiful, poignant, funny, sassy, and incredibly profound poetry from all kinds of commuters, from a sign language interpreter to a Civil Rights veteran (at top) to an actual poet, much to Madeline’s surprise. (So New York.) There’s even one incredibly talented grade-schooler named Ava on the website, with a future in creative writing if she chooses.
Spushcacao is a word
noone knows not even
I. I’m guessing this is
a sharp rock that never
Check in each day for a new poem alongside a portrait of its writer, and you may find yourself as inspired as I am. It’s a lesson that talent is everywhere, even where you least expect it; and that inside every stranger there are feelings, struggles, dreams. And it’s one I’m going to share with my kids. Maybe they’ll see that car full of strangers differently the next time we hop the A train.